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Bigdavy  (Level: 142.1 - Posts: 537)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 11:43 AM


This was a very interesting WP for the new "Pet" theme, where the clues are all names of pets (real or fictional, famous or obscure). It's nice to see the theme in action. Some of the pet names I recognized, while some I hadn't ever heard of (as pets) -- but knowing the pet with that name doesn't really matter when solving the phrases! I had fun doing this WP!

- bigdavy

Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 11:46 AM

Brilliant, i hope this is the shape of things to come.

Garrybl  (Level: 294.3 - Posts: 6810)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 12:02 PM

Lots of fun.
I'm already planning mine.


Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 1:20 PM

Yes, this was a good one. I was a little concerned that this series might be a little limiting, but this WP served as a nice example for the many directions authors might go with the theme.

Digs  (Level: 116.6 - Posts: 812)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 4:18 PM

An excellent start to this new theme, I really enjoyed it.
Thanks Sploofunky.

Looking forward to Saltzypats tomorrow.

1mks  (Level: 221.2 - Posts: 5932)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 4:53 PM

Loved it. I'm working on mine.

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2498)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 5:11 PM

Eh! (indifference).

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 5:20 PM

I loved it and it sounds like Felix did too!

Bbear  (Level: 168.0 - Posts: 2291)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 7:32 PM

Fun and interesting. Great start to this new series.

Osuzannacollage  (Level: 132.1 - Posts: 1299)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 7:37 PM

Really enjoyed this one! Informative, clever and entertaining. Looking forward to more like this!

Kimoira  (Level: 215.3 - Posts: 1202)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 7:45 PM

Bailed- sorry but I have an issue with misleading clues/puzzles and I want to point this one out.

Garrybl  (Level: 294.3 - Posts: 6810)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 9:44 PM

Kimoira; please let us know what you did not like here; it seemed fair to me.


Alvandy  (Level: 242.0 - Posts: 7727)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 9:57 PM

It was fun. I had no qualms about its clues being misleading. It required having "pet friendly" thinking to solve, of course.

Lynnm  (Level: 238.3 - Posts: 2056)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 10:32 PM

Fun WP with a clever presentation of trivia.

Virtus  (Level: 171.1 - Posts: 2496)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:06 AM

Great puzzle that sets the standard for the rest of us. Good job!

Sploofus Editor
Sploofunky (Editor)  
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:30 AM

This was the first of what we hope will be many WPs revolving around one of our new community word puzzle themes -- the names of pets. If you haven't yet had a chance to read about the new theme, please see this thread:

Thank you very much for the feedback, and we're glad most of you enjoyed the puzzle! To those who thought the clues were misleading -- well, this series is designed to have a twist to it. Perhaps if that were clearer from the title?

As Daveguth noted, you can approach this theme from as many directions as your imagination can dream up! You're only limited by the basic framework.

Sploofus Editor
Sploofunky (Editor)  
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:32 AM

Here are all the phrases with explanations about the pets:

cartoonist larson who once drew a wolf sheepishly bringing flowers to a ewe ("Gary")
dead businessman whose ghost makes scrooge feel as nervous as a cat ("Marley")
city in new jersey famous as the home of lucy the wooden elephant ("Margate")
pet detective ventura whose surreal menagerie includes macaws and a monkey ("Ace")
the way the red red robin moves in a tin pan alley song ("Bob")
houdini who pulled a rabbit out of his hat in michigan in the twenties ("Harry")
actor rathbone who starred in the hound of the baskervilles ("Basil")
stravinsky said my music is best understood by children and animals ("Igor")
english poet matthew who wrote an elegy for a pet canary ("Arnold")
your eyes can get this way when you lose a beloved pet ("Misty")

1. "Gary" is Spongebob Squarepants' pet snail who meows like a cat.

2. "Marley" was a yellow Labrador Retriever from the book, "Marley & Me" by John Grogan. (The book was also adapted to film.) From Wikipedia: "The eulogy written by the author in his newspaper following the death of their dog is described as receiving more responses than any other column he had written in his professional life up until that point."

3. "Margate" was the name of one of Winston Churchill's cats. The story goes that Churchill took the kitten as a sign of good luck after he'd delivered a speech in the town of Margate, England. Hence the unusual name.

4. "Ace" - I'm sure lots of pets have been named this, but I was thinking of Bruce Wayne's pal and guard dog in the animated TV series, "Batman Beyond."

5. "Bob" is a pet fox terrier in Agatha Christie's book, "Dumb Witness." The title refers to Bob, with "dumb" meaning "unable to tell the story" rather than "stupid."

6. "Harry" is the name of an endearing white dog with black spots from a series of children's books by Gene Zion.

7. "Basil" is Manuel's pet rat that he tries to pass off as a hamster in the TV show "Fawlty Towers." There's an entire Wiki page devoted to the last episode, "Basil the Rat."

I chose Basil Rathbone for my phrase for a variety of reasons, not just because he starred in "The Hound of the Baskervilles." Notice that his last name begins with the word "rat," and the word "bone" (something a hound might want) ends his last name.

8. "Igor" is Grandpa's pet bat from Transylvania in the TV show "The Munsters."

9. "Arnold" is the multi-talented pet pig on the TV show "Green Acres."

10. "Misty" is the horse from the Newbery Honor book "Misty of Chincoteague." This book isn't just for kids. If you love horses, you'll probably enjoy this book.

Thank you again!

Kimoira  (Level: 215.3 - Posts: 1202)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 7:44 AM

The red red robin comes bop bop bopping along, although he does move that way. I'm just pick pick picking about it

Tresgatos  (Level: 217.4 - Posts: 4457)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 11:41 AM

I enjoyed this WP a lot and am looking forward to Salzypat's today! I'm also working on one of my own.

I looked up the robin song at, and it seems to have been composed by a guy named Harry Woods. (Never heard of him.) Anyway, Wikipedia says the title is "When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along."

Thanks for all the explanations on the pets! Now I'm going to have to watch an episode of Spongebob to see this pet snail you've described.

-- Geri

Foogs  (Level: 282.5 - Posts: 847)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:01 PM

I'm with Kimoira. I got the Red Red robin first
puzzle and blew it. Just an unnecessary word

I don't know if it's "better" to blow the first
puzzle -- then I don't care any more but the puzzle
is no fun -- or screw up on the last puzzle after
maybe doing well and beginning to hope.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:04 PM

Got the red red robin puzzle first too, but loved the rest of it.

Tresgatos  (Level: 217.4 - Posts: 4457)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:09 PM

I don't see any word change. It looks like the author took some creative license with the phrase, but the red red robin bob bob bobs along, not bop, bop bops.

-- Geri

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:15 PM

You can Google if you want, but I just want to confirm that Geri is right that the song's name is "When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along."

A nice little clue is that bobbin' rhymes with robin.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:19 PM

The problem word was "comes" (or lack of it), not "bob'in. It definitely bobbed

Garrybl  (Level: 294.3 - Posts: 6810)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:22 PM

If we are getting picky (
Not sure where the Houdini reference comes from.


And yes Bob bob bobbing is how I learned it we are a long way before Bop --aren't we, with that song?

Foogs  (Level: 282.5 - Posts: 847)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:29 PM

The issue isn't bop vs. bob.

It was that comes was unnecessarily replaced by goes.

Foogs  (Level: 282.5 - Posts: 847)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:31 PM

Check that: moves not goes.

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 12:38 PM

I agree, Barry, that Houdini one was quite a stretch. Never heard of Houdini pulling a rabbit from his hat. However, decided to roll with it--I guess it refers to the "idea" of being a magician.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 1:02 PM

the word "came" would have been better. Sorry WP writer, just having fun, really did love your puzzle.

Sploofus Editor
Sploofunky (Editor)  
Sat, 19th Sep '09 2:24 PM

Having good-natured, friendly fun is what Sploofus is all about!

I agree that the phrase about the red red robin could have been improved, and I appreciate the feedback. In hindsight, I think I'd like it better as, "the way the red red robin comes along in a tin pan alley song." Nice rhyme there. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me while researching and writing.

In terms of the Houdini phrase: I'm not a Houdini scholar, but I was able to confirm that he pulled at least one rabbit out of his hat -- while performing in Saginaw, Michigan, in the early 1920s:

"... one legacy of his (Houdini's) Saginaw show shines still. The rabbit Houdini pulled out of a hat inspired the neon Bean Bunny illuminated in the sky 13 stories above downtown Saginaw, (Thomas) Mudd said. Ten-year-old Phyllis Reidel -- the daughter of Producers Elevator Co. Co-owner Al Reidel -- answered Houdini's call for a volunteer to help with the trick.

`Houdini promised the rabbit to whomever would come up on the stage,' Mudd said.

The rabbit became the company's symbol in 1937. Producers Elevator later became Michigan Bean Co., maker of Jack Rabbit Beans."


I intended to post that story last night.

We do our best to write fun and interesting word puzzles. Sometimes we're more successful than others. Apologies again to those of you who didn't enjoy the WP. Just don't let whatever complaints you had with my WP diminish your enthusiasm for the theme itself. There's a lot you can do with the theme, and we're excited about the possibilities!

Have fun writing and playing the WPs!

Bakerstreeet  (Level: 42.7 - Posts: 187)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 4:55 PM

I thought it VERY creative. Not only were there pet names (I LOVE Gary, the snail of Spongebob fame), but also animal names in all of the phrases. A two-twister for the brain. As for the issue of 'moves' or 'comes' along, I can see why it might throw some players off, but if you don't Google and just try to solve the phrases, it made sense to me in the context of the specific phrase. Kudos to the author!

Daveguth  (Level: 269.4 - Posts: 1636)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 5:05 PM

I stand corrected. Now I've heard of Houdini pulling a rabbit from his hat!

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2498)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 6:09 PM

Didn't take it . Washed socks instead.

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